“This neighborhood watch twosome … will be on the lookout for nefarious capability other nations might try to place in that critical orbital regime,” Gen. William Shelton, the head of Air Force Space Command, told reporters at the Pentagon. The launch comes at a time when China is rapidly improving its space and anti-satellite capabilities. Pentagon planners worry that in a future conflict, Beijing might shoot down or disable American military satellites that are critical for communications, intelligence-gathering, and targeting.
The BND had been planning to upgrade its capabilities for some time, especially the technology used to monitor social media. It has a project as part of the “Strategic Technology Initiative,” which would require parliamentary approval of 300 million euros ($410 million) in funding. According to information confirmed by DW, the Military Counterintelligence Service (MAD) also aims to reinvent itself. With around 1,000 employees, MAD is the smallest of the three federal intelligence agencies in Germany.
The National Intelligence Organization (MİT) will become a network of interconnected branches or bureaus called strategic analysis, counterespionage, external operations, security intelligence, electronic and technical intelligence and signals intelligence. Even the logos for these divisions have been designed, the report said. According to the story, the restructuring of MİT is part of a longer-term plan to create a system that is similar to the US intelligence community. The US system is made up of 17 separate bodies operating under two main branches.
Besides testing missiles that can intercept and destroy satellites, the Chinese have developed jamming techniques to disrupt satellite communications. In addition, says Lance Gatling, president of Nexial Research, an aerospace consultant in Tokyo, the Chinese have studied ground-based lasers that could take down a satellite’s solar panels, and satellites equipped with grappling arms that could co-orbit and then disable expensive U.S. hardware. To defend themselves against China, the U.S. and Japan are in the early stages of integrating their space programs.
Over 300 military servicemen of Russian intelligence units started field trainings at the training center of “Kakhmud” Russian military base in Armenia.The trainings will especially focus on studying modern radio engineering, unmanned aerial vehicles “Navodchik-2”, “Zastava” and “Strelets” communication complexes with GLONASS navigation system during the investigative actions in the valley, mountains and while taking actions toward repelling subversive groups of the conventional rival and their silent extermination at various times of the day.
Every spy-flap reminds us that the Cold War-based espionage culture is not always a reasonable or effective basis for pursuing intelligence objectives. As a general rule, liaison cooperation simply makes more sense, in the light of current threat realities. For this reason, strange bedfellows—new partnerships between old adversaries—have emerged in responding to threats of joint concern. Old categories of “allies” and “enemies” in the intelligence world are no longer useful in pursuing liaison cooperation.
The Russian government and Cuba have agreed to reopen a massive Soviet-era spy base on the outskirts of Havana, according to the Russian newspaper Kommersant. The base, just 150 miles off the coast of the United States, originally opened in 1964 after the Cuban missile crisis. Russia shut the spy installation down in 2002 because of lack of funds and as a goodwill gesture toward the American government in what was then a better diplomatic climate. If it reopens, the listening post would be Russia’s only intelligence-gathering center in the Western hemisphere.
The report speaks of the fear circulating in diplomatic circles that despite the extraordinary efforts of the security forces and the support of international actors who would prefer to see Lebanon stabilized, the country is in danger of falling prey to the bad intentions of certain regional and international parties. These fundamentalist groups receive political support and cover from known regional powers and they are planning a new wave of bombings and assassinations that have a purely political goal, it claims.
GCHQ has developed a toolkit of software programs used to manipulate online traffic, infiltrate users’ computers and spread select messages across social media sites including Facebook and YouTube. The UK spy agency’s dark arts were revealed in documents first published by The Intercept, and each piece of software is described in a wiki document written up by GCHQ’s Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group (JTRIG).
Ottawa-based CSEC monitors foreign communications of intelligence interest to Canada, and exchanges a large amount of information with similar agencies in the United States, Britain, Australia and New Zealand. Leaks from Edward Snowden, a former contractor for the U.S. National Security Agency — CSEC’s American counterpart — have raised questions about operations of the so-called Five Eyes intelligence network.
The military strongman cut his teeth in the 1969 coup that brought Gaddafi to power.What came to be called The Toyota War, because Chadian troops used pick-up trucks mounted with French guided anti-tank missiles to neutralize Gaddafi’s armor, shattered Hiftar’s close relationship with the Libyan dictator. After Hiftar was captured in 1987, Gaddafi disowned him. Abandoned and angry, Hiftar struck a deal with the CIA, fled to the United States and lived in exile in Northern Virginia until 2011.
Norway is spending $250 million on a new spy boat to track Russian activities in the Arctic, while Canada’s efforts to safeguard its northern sovereignty appear to be moving in slow motion. The hull of the new ship, to be operated by the Norwegian military intelligence service and enter service in 2016, was delivered recently to a military base in Alesund, a coastal town northwest of Oslo in the Scandinavian kingdom of 5 million people. Norwegian military intelligence is currently working to install ultra-sensitive spying equipment.
A supposedly secret but locally well-known CIA station on the outskirts of Irbil’s airport is undergoing rapid expansion as the United States considers whether to engage in a war against Islamist militants who’ve seized control of half of Iraq in the past month. Western contractors hired to expand the facility and a local intelligence official confirmed the construction project, which is visible from the main highway linking Irbil to Mosul, the city whose fall June 9 triggered the Islamic State’s sweep through northern and central Iraq.
German authorities have carried out a raid on the residence of a defense ministry official suspected of passing secrets to the US, just one week after the arrest of a German intelligence officer who worked as a double agent. Officials from the Federal Prosecutor’s Office said Wednesday that residential and office premises of the staff of the Federal Ministry of Defense in Berlin were searched on “initial suspicion of activity for an intelligence agency.” According to Die Welt, a soldier of the Bundeswehr is suspected of committing espionage
Germany debated retaliatory measures against the United States on Tuesday after the discovery of an alleged double agent stoked still smouldering public anger over the NSA scandal. The case of a German intelligence operative suspected of spying for Washington drew a fierce response from Berlin, where indignation against one of its closest allies has run high since reports last year that the US National Security Agency (NSA) tapped Chancellor Angela Merkel’s mobile phone.
Myanmar police’s intelligence unit has summoned editors of news publications to inquire about their internal operations, including financial records, according to a press group Monday. But the government insists the meetings are merely “discussions” to gather “basic information” about their operations and that there was nothing to be alarmed about. Editors of up to six private journals have been quizzed over the last few days by the police Special Branch unit
Iraq is emblematic of how a security-conscious CIA is finding it difficult to spy aggressively in dangerous environments without military protection, Maguire and other current and former U.S. officials say. Intelligence blind spots have left the U.S. behind on fast-moving world events, they say, whether it’s disintegration in Iraq, Russia’s move into Crimea or the collapse of several governments during the Arab Spring. “This is a glaring example of the erosion of our street craft and our tradecraft and our capability to operate in a hard place.”
Classified files leaked to Danish media suggest some EU states are allowing US spies to install surveillance equipment on cables in order to intercept the emails, private phone calls, and Internet chats of their citizens. Large amounts of data are said to be swept up via a programme codenamed “RAMPART-A”, according to documents. The equipment allows the Americans to hoover up some three terabits of data every second from the cables.
The Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) has announced the first stage of a pilot scheme allowing communications service providers to receive intelligence regarding cyber attacks earlier than was previously possible. The initiative will help those involved in the scheme act as the UK’s first line of defence in countering cyber threats to the nation from state actors and cyber criminals, Lobban explained.
The GUEBiPK is thus not only a potentially powerful political asset — whoever controls economic crime investigations is especially useful to the Kremlin — but also a lucrative source of revenue. Kolsenikov’s downfall, therefore, may be part of a play by the FSB and Investigative Committee to take control of the GUEBiPK. Just as the MVD’s Main Directorate for Combating Extremism is generally regarded as a tool of the FSB, so too GUEBiPK could be dominated by the FSB’s Economic Security Service or else the Investigative Committee.
Nigeria, United States, Britian and five other countries have set up an External Intelligence Response Unit, EIRU, to fast track the fight against Boko Haram terrorists in the country. Other members of the EIRU are France, Benin Republic, Cameroon, Chad and Niger Republic. A statement by the Coordinator of the National Information Centre, NIC, in Abuja yesterday, Mr. Mike Omeri, said the EIRU was set up following a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, signed by all the member countries in Yaounde, the capital of Cameroon.
The Drug Enforcement Administration is drafting a potential contract for help with “rapid prototyping,” data analysis and other information technology services within its special intelligence unit, according to federal databases. The office’s current IT arrangement includes six separate operating environments with different classifications, and the chosen firm would be responsible for linking them together, DEA officials said in a preliminary job description.
The German foreign intelligence agency (BND) reportedly plans to expand its digital espionage operations, according to several German media outlets. The German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung, as well as broadcasters NDR and WDR said on Friday that confidential files from the spy agency indicated plans to access social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, in real time. Filtering data live would allow the BND to form a “more exact picture of the situation abroad,” the Süddeutsche Zeitung report added.
The result will be a substantial further concentration of US intelligence firepower at RAF Croughton, whose stated purpose is to provide “world-class combat support” for activities including “global strike operations” and has recently had its security arrangements tightened. A USAF briefing document makes it clear that the facility at RAF Croughton will be at the front line of intelligence activities. The facility will be the principle intelligence centre for the USafricom – or Africa command.
The Spanish Government plans to collect data on all of the country’s 34 million bank accounts in what it calls a bid to crack down on money laundering and terrorist activity. But the move has drawn plenty of fire.
Spain plans to set up a German-style archive of data on the financial activity of Spaniards and residents in Spain, national daily El País reported. Groups including the Tax Office, the military, the General Council of the Judiciary and the secret services will then be able to access that information.
The Ethiopian government and the government of South Sudan arrested three Egyptian spies on Monday, according to Sudanese media Upper Nile Times. The Egyptians were reportedly sent by Cairo government to spy on hydro dam projects in South Sudan and western Ethiopia. The three men named Yusuf Haj, Ismail Azizi and Hassan Garai were caught in separate locations of the region. Yusuf Haj was arrested at the Sudanese border while the other two were arrested using fake tourist visas in Gambella region of Ethiopia.
Official sources claimed that Sakir Hussain, a Sri Lankan national, told his interrogators that he had been hired allegedly by an official in Pakistani high commission in Colombo as part of the ISI’s alleged plans to conduct reconnaissance of US consulate in Chennai and Israeli consulate in Bangalore. Hussain was arrested on April 29 in a coordinated operation involving various countries, including a southeast Asian nation.
The European Space Agency has developed a tiny spectrum-revealing camera that can fly inside tiny satellites known as CubeSats making it ideal for many applications from agriculture to environmental research. The hyperspectral camera could fit in the palm of your hand and works by dividing-up hundreds of narrow, adjacent wavelengths which reveal ‘spectral signatures’ of particular features, crops or materials, providing valuable data for fields such as mineralogy, agricultural forecasting and environmental monitoring, the ESA stated.
But by far the intelligence gathering ship FS Dupuy de Lôme will be the most controversial one. She is fitted with COMINT and ELINT equipment. Her helicopter pad might be used to launch and recover unmanned air vehicles which can carry additional intelligence gathering sensors. The ship is available for 350 days a year and active for 240 days. May be France is better in making strategic communication at a level that can be correctly interpreted by Russians by sending two spy ships to the back yard of the Russians.
Parliament is set to begin deliberations today about a bill expanding the powers of Turkey’s spy agency with additional missions both inside and outside the country, formally turning it into an intelligence coordination body that will work directly under the prime minister. Known as the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) Law, the proposal was withdrawn in February after President Abdullah Gül demanded major changes to the proposed text.
The plan to revive the ISI’s Political Cell had been under consideration since last November, prior to the conduct of the LG elections in Balochistan in December, while it was given a go-ahead by the security establishment, on the reported directives of some “powerful ruling functionaries” during the start of this year, the insiders said. Reportedly, funds for conducting the operations of the Political Cell have been specified from the secret funds of the defence budget.
UK’s Intelligence Watchdog ‘Group’ Only Has One Full-Time Member, Oversight Efforts Compared To British Sitcom
Britain’s intelligence services had a system of oversight no better than that seen in the TV comedy Yes, Prime Minister, an MP said on Tuesday during a meeting of a Commons committee. Julian Huppert, a Liberal Democrat, said the sitcom depicting ineffectual government was an appropriate comparison after it emerged that the intelligence services commissioner appearing before MPs worked only part-time, and operated with only one other staff member.
Seoul aims to conclude a memorandum of understanding with Washington and Tokyo to protect military intelligence. The agreement is seen as a more viable alternative to a military intelligence-sharing deal with Japan that the government had to drop in 2012 after fierce opposition at home. “We can no longer neglect the issue of trilateral security cooperation among Seoul, Washington and Tokyo as North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats increase,” a government source said on Sunday.
High on the agenda at Friday’s meeting of European Union foreign affairs ministers in Dublin, Ireland — current holder of the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union — is the future of the European External Action Service, which is set for a midterm review this year and an impending change in leadership. Among the topics expected to be put on the table is a German “nonpaper” proposal, seen by Devex, calling for the “strengthening” of the EEAS.
UK surveillance agency GCHQ is reportedly using telecom companies to gain access to sub-sea data cables in Europe.
The Belgian morning newspaper De Standard claims five of the cables, which resurface at the Belgian coast, are affected, and the data GCHQ gleans from them is then shared with the US National Security Agency. The information comes from Comité I, according to De Standaard — a committee that monitors the intelligence services in Belgium.
While the SKR and FSB seem to be cooperating against the MVD, they are nevertheless competitors on other fronts. For example, talk of the creation of some investigatory super-agency—a “Russian FBI”—have resurfaced periodically. Putin, a KGB veteran who well understands the power of dividing and thus ruling the security apparatus, has always held back from such a move. Nonetheless, the Russian press has now begun reporting leaks to the effect that such an agency may be announced this spring, to be fully operational by 2016 or 2017.
Germany is debating plans to expand its counter-espionage personnel and conduct “foundational monitoring” of the embassies of such nations as the United States and Britain, Spiegel said in its report on Sunday. The operations would include the tracking of US agents operating under diplomatic cover on German soil, the report said. Spiegel said Merkel’s office, the Interior Minstry and Foreign Ministry would all have to agree to give the green light to the enhanced counter-intelligence measures.
Countries in the Eastern African region will prioritize investment in modern intelligence gathering to forestall an eruption of conflicts in the region, regional military chiefs said on Saturday. The regional defense chiefs, who wrapped up a three-day meeting here, agreed that poor early warning systems were to blame for sporadic conflicts and general insecurity. “Some of the conflicts witnessed in the region lately could have been avoided had we acted on indicators that were above board. We need to invest in early warning to forestall chaos,”
Senior US officials and lawmakers are sending new signals that a fledgling cadre of military spies is a done deal, despite no real substantive public debate. The Pentagon last year proposed creation of the Defense Clandestine Service (DCS), saying the military needed its own team of spies to gather human intelligence across the globe. The country already has a civilian clandestine service within the CIA, which is itching to ditch some of its post-9/11 roles and return full-time to the spying and analysis business.
GCHQ Has Entire Program For ‘Dirty Tricks’ Including Honeypots, Using Journalists, Deleting Online Accounts
Remember the story from last year about the NSA using dirty tricks, like spying on the porn habits of non-terrorists and then trying to leak them to discredit those (again, non-terrorist) individuals? Apparently, the UK’s version of the NSA is way ahead of the NSA on that. A new report by Glenn Greenwald and others at NBC, based on Snowden documents, shows that the GCHQ has an entire program dedicated to these kinds of attacks. When it comes to companies, they talk about disrupting business deals and ruining relationships
Google Glass may soon become a favored tool for law enforcement agencies in the United States. The New York City Police Department’s massive and controversial intelligence and analytics unit is evaluating whether Google Glass is a decent fit for investigating terrorists and helping cops lock up bad guys, VentureBeat has learned. The department recently received several pairs of the modernist-looking specs to test out. “We signed up, got a few pairs of the Google glasses, and we’re trying them out, seeing if they have any value in investigations, mostly for patrol purposes,”.
“If Germany were making an economic deal for a gas pipeline in a way that would cause large international difficulties, that might be a reason to try to prevent a bad outcome,” Peter Swire, a professor of law and ethics at the Georgia Institute of Technology, told journalists in Brussels on Friday (24 January). He noted that he was speaking in a personal capacity. But his remark sheds light on US President Barack Obama’s thinking about the future of the National Security Agency (NSA) in light of Edward Snowden’s revelations.
Under the UKUSA Agreement, the foundation for Anglo-American intelligence sharing signed in 1943 and considered so sensitive that it was not disclosed to the public until 2005, experts judge that the two countries have shared more secrets than any two sovereign powers in history. It is part of a mosaic of US facilities, from air bases to listening stations in locations from North Yorkshire to Turkey, which, in the words of one US document, “delivers full-spectrum options to combatant commanders, leads and supports joint … warfighting headquarters operations, promoting regional stability”.
A three-year study by the Pentagon has concluded that American intelligence agencies are not yet organised or fully equipped to detect when foreign countries are developing nuclear weapons or ramping up their existing arsenals. In a 100-page report by the Defense Science Board, the study said the agencies’ detection abilities, including finding “undeclared facilities and/or covert operations”, are “either inadequate, or more often, do not exist.”
Countering Gulenists: Turkey’s MİT to monitor all religious groups as potential parts of parallel state
The National Intelligence Organization (MİT) recently sent a document in which all religious communities and groups within state institutions, described as “parallel state structures” (PDY) in the document, were cited as the main target to be monitored in 2014. “All [members of] religious groups described as PDY were referred to as the primary target [to be monitored],” the daily said.
In the aftermath of the Snowden revelations, Germany “is negotiating with the EU member states a European anti-espionage agreement,” the Süddeutsche and public broadcaster NDR reported. Such a pact had been discussed confidentially for months in Berlin and would commit the countries of the 28-nation bloc “to refrain from mutual espionage”, both political and economic, the daily said. The envisioned agreement “would allow surveillance only for previously agreed purposes such as combating terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction,” said excerpts of the Thursday report.
The Agency for Defense Development (ADD) has successfully developed an ELINT (electronic intelligence) and image intelligence collection systems, which are installed on F-16s. “We now have the ability to design the signal intelligence collection equipment in the same class or better than that of advanced countries, by securing core technologies such as ultra-wideband signal high-precision direction finding and multiple signal digital analyzing technology obtained from the development of the “ELINT collection system.
The Pentagon will undergo a massive realignment to its intelligence arm and is stream lining its cyber warfare and science and technology efforts. Part of the re-organization will include merging the Pentagon’s ISR Task Force into an ISR Operations Directorate, counterintelligence and security directorates have been merged together and HUMINT, sensitive activities and National Programs Directorates have been combined. The initiative is part of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s plan to initiative to reduce Pentagon headquarters manning by 20 percent over the next five years.
Fears within the Obama administration and Congress are mounting about Chinese telecom giant Huawei’s plan to build a wireless network in South Korea. The Obama administration and Congress are turning up the pressure on South Korea to turn back from a pending deal with Huawei Technologies, a Chinese firm that the U.S. intelligence community believes is linked to the Chinese military. Top administration officials have begun quietly talking to Seoul about U.S. national-security concerns over the pending deal, which would see Huawei help build South Korea’s new broadband network.
Intelligence agencies, like businesses and political campaigns, recognize the value of social media in track trends, public sentiment and the kind of emerging public uprisings that took place during the Arab Spring. Agencies from the Homeland Security Department to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency have looked to use social media analytics for signs of terrorism or as a conduit during emergencies. The challenges have included the size of the data and the fractured language used on the likes of Twitter and Facebook.
Sweden has sometimes been called the ‘Sixth Eye’ – referring to the English-speaking Five Eyes SIGINT alliance – suggesting a close working relationship between Sweden’s FRA and the NSA and GCHQ. New documents suggest that it has access to the XKeyscore tool, and has helped in the Quantum hacking program. Firstly, the NSA has granted the Swedish intelligence agency Försvarets Radioanstalt (the National Defense Radio Establishment known as the FRA) access to its XKeyscore program. XKeyscore is the front end that gives NSA agents and contractors the ability to search its huge databases.
This week, the embarrassment lay in the exposure of a real-life spying operation, with the clearest evidence yet that ASIS, apparently under political direction, had bugged the East Timorese cabinet room in 2004 to help Canberra arm-twist Dili over offshore gas fields. ASIO, the domestic spy agency, appeared to confirm the charge with a raid on the home of a former ASIS agent who had allegedly blown the whistle on the bugging operation. It also searched the premises of Canberra lawyer Bernard Collaery, who had been poised to call the former spy in legal action on East Timor’s behalf.
Israeli intelligence drew up a list of these men, each one the possessor of highly lethal skills that could be threatening to Israel, even if there had not been a coordinated network embracing of all of them. The list was headed by two men: Imad Mughniyeh, Hezbollah’s supreme military commander, and Gen. Muhammad Suleiman, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s head of secret special projects, including the building of a nuclear reactor, and the person in charge of Syria’s ties with Iran and Hezbollah.
Ground Self-Defense Force spies have secretly gathered intelligence abroad since the Cold War era without informing the prime minister or defense minister, a practice considered deviating from civilian control, former senior defense officials said. A special unit of the Ground Staff Office has set up bases in Russia, China, South Korea and Poland, if not elsewhere, and several dozen GSDF members of the team have engaged in intelligence activities overseas without a legal basis and by assuming false identities, according to the officials.
A US panel raised the specter of sanctions against China, warning Congress that Beijing has not contained its rampant spying on American interests, a major national security concern. The US-China Economic and Security Review Commission in its annual report also flagged China’s massive increase in military spending as a worry, citing naval expansion as a threat to America’s role in Asia, AFP reports. The report accused China of “directing and executing a large-scale cyber espionage campaign,” penetrating the US government and private industry.
Germany’s domestic intelligence agency is planning to expand its counterintelligence operations to include friendly countries following revelations about the United States’ extensive spying programme. Germany’s domestic intelligence agency has until now only systematically observed countries of concern, while allies in the European Union and NATO were observed only if there was a concrete suspicion, such as that they were spying on Germany or recruiting spies in the country, the official said. But given the NSA revelations, the agency will in future need to have a 360-degree view which will include friendly countries.
Espionage, especially spying on friends, has always involved a cost-benefit calculation – weighing the benefits of eavesdropping against the costs of being found out. But the expansion in sheer information gathering and storage capabilities since the 9/11 terrorist attacks has swamped any efforts to set limits and the proclivity to weigh the pros and cons, analysts say. And the downsides of that, they add, could be many and even lead to a damaging of the counterterrorism efforts that lie at the core of international intelligence cooperation.
China’s decision to set up a powerful national security committee has spurred deep fears in the country of society slipping further into a police state. “This worry is not unfounded, since China’s rulers have always managed to blur the line between ‘national security’ and the security for them to govern,” wrote Jin Manlou, a Shanghai-based writer on weibo. “Often in China, the army is used in domestic situations instead of in international conflicts.” Others speculated about the high status granted to the new agency, comparing it with that of the KGB.
Two arch-rivals, RAW and the ISI have been always trying to outwit each other, to dictate the terms for Bangladesh. At times RAW was successful, a few times the ISI was successful. Ill-prepared security networks, paid and unpaid agents, friends, and loyalists in Bangladesh also played significant roles here. Members of the Indian or Pakistani intelligence forces were patted on the back by their seniors and the government for doing a good job, though not necessarily good for Bangladesh.
America’s NSA and Britain’s GCHQ are both spying on the OPEC oil cartel, documents from whistleblower Edward Snowden reveal. The security of the global energy supply is one of the most important issues for the intelligence agencies. Documents disclosed by whistleblower Edward Snowden reveal that both America’s National Security Agency (NSA) and Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) have infiltrated the computer network of the the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
FORGET mock outrage about Aussie spies in South-East Asia: if our spooks werent spying on Indonesia, China, Papua New Guinea or East Timor, then we’d really have something to worry about. Of course the Australian Government’s network of spooks and its large stocks of hi-tech eavesdropping equipment are used against our neighbours and friends around the globe. These shadowy government bodies have a combined workforce in excess of 6,000 people with annual budgets exceeding $5 billion or $217 for every man, woman and child in the land.
Did the Obama Administration ever spy on Mitt Romney during the recent presidential contest? Alex Tabarrok, who raised the question at the popular economics blog Marginal Revolution, acknowledges that it is provocative. Until recently, he would’ve regarded it as a “loony” question, he writes, and he doesn’t think that President Obama ordered the NSA to spy on Romney for political gain. Let’s be clear: I don’t think so either. In every way, I regard Obama as our legitimate head of state, full stop. But I agree with Tabarrok that today, “the only loonies are those who think the question unreasonable.”
Following an accident at the Alcântara satellite launch pad in 2003, in the state of Maranhão, Brazilian intelligence services investigated the possibility that the incident may have occurred as the result of sabotage by French secret service agents. The accident killed 21 people, including engineers and technicians from the General Command of Aerospace Technology, a division of the Brazilian Air Force. According to documents obtained by Folha from the Brazilian Intelligence Agency (ABIN, in its Portuguese acronym), there were at least three counter-espionage operations aimed at French agents and their contacts in Brazil.
Concerns were raised tonight that Britain operates a top-secret listening post from its Berlin embassy to eavesdrop on the seat of German power. Documents leaked by the US National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden show that GCHQ is, together with the US and other key partners, operating a network of electronic spy posts from diplomatic buildings around the world, which intercept data in host nations. An American intercept “nest” on top of its embassy in Berlin – less than 150 metres from Britain’s own diplomatic mission – is believed to have been shut down last week.
EU justice commissionner Viviane Reding has said the Union should create its own intelligence service by 2020. Speaking on Monday (4 November) to Greek daily Naftemporiki on the US snooping scandal, she said: “What we need is to strengthen Europe in this field, so we can level the playing field with our US partners.” She added: “I would therefore wish to use this occasion to negotiate an agreement on stronger secret service co-operation among the EU member states – so that we can speak with a strong common voice to the US.
As Twitter is officially banned within most workplaces, for being a tricky ’140-character platform’, Pentagon and other intelligence officials have taken to a privately run, internal microblogging service called as eChirp, which appears to be a replica of the original site. According to The Verge, eChirp was established in 2009, the original goal of the site was to let expert analysts across different agencies weigh in on breaking news without compromising any secure information. The report said that a password-protected subdomain on the US intelligence community’s Intelink intranet is labeled ‘Chirp’
A veteran spy watcher claims Australia is playing a role in America’s intelligence networks by monitoring vast swathes of the Asia Pacific region and feeding information to the US. Spy expert Des Ball says Australia has been monitoring the Asia Pacific region for the US. He says Australia has four key facilities that are part of the NSA’s XKeyscore program. Senator Nick Xenophon says the Government must ensure Australians are not under US surveillance. Meanwhile, former NSA executive Thomas Drake has lifted the lid on spy practices.
The United States could lose access to an important law enforcement tool used to track terrorist money flows, German officials said Monday, as Europe weighed a response to allegations that the Americans spied on their closest European allies. In Washington, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein called for a “total review” of all U.S. intelligence programs in response to the allegations — activity the California Democrat said she wasn’t told about.
Geography and social media analytics represent the latest tradecraft within Defense Department and the intelligence community, incorporating “human geography” into geospatial intelligence. For instance, the 2013-2017 National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) Strategy calls for using both traditional and non-traditional (e.g., human geography and social media) geospatial sources. U.S. defense and intelligence agencies are monitoring Arabic-language jihadist Web forums and other online communications in order to “map” the “human terrain” of terror groups.
The United States is tapping telephones and monitoring communications networks from electronic surveillance facilities in US embassies and consulates across east and south-east Asia, according to information disclosed by intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden. A top secret map lists 90 surveillance facilities worldwide, including communications intelligence facilities at embassies in Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Phnom Penh and Yangon. Dated August 13, 2010, the map shows no such facilities are located in Australia, New Zealand, Britain, Japan and Singapore – the US’s closest allies.
Fidan’s rise to prominence has accompanied a notable erosion in US influence over Turkey. Washington long had cozy relations with Turkey’s military, the second-largest army in the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato). But Turkey’s generals are now subservient to Erdogan and his closest advisers, Fidan and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, who are using the Arab Spring to shift Turkey’s focus toward expanding its regional leadership, say current and former US officials. “Hakan Fidan is the face of the new Middle East,” says James Jeffrey, who recently served as US ambassador in Turkey and Iraq. “We need to work with him because he can get the job done,” he says.
The notion of foreign support for Baloch insurgents rests on a slippery slope. If a country accuses others of aiding separatism (India’s position on Pakistani support for Kashmiri separatists, or Pakistan’s allegation of Indian backing for the Pakistani Taliban or Baloch separatists), how can it prove them? Does an intelligence outfit leave its footprint? Do intelligence agencies use their own currency, weapons and gadgetry? The latest revelation is that former Indian army chief General VK Singh created a Technical Services Division (TSD) for covert operations in Pakistan — going after the alleged mastermind of the Mumbai terrorist attacks and Jamaatud Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed.
The FSB is much more than just an ordinary security service. Combining the functions of an elite police force with those of a spy agency, and wielding immense power, it has come a long way since the early 1990s, when it was on the brink of imploding. Today’s agency draws a direct line of inheritance from the Cheka, set up by Vladimir Lenin in the months after the Bolshevik revolution, to the NKVD, notorious for the purges of the 1930s in which hundreds of thousands were executed, and then the KGB. As the Soviet Union disbanded, the KGB was dismembered into separate agencies, and humiliated.
The CIA is expanding a clandestine effort to train opposition fighters in Syria amid concern that moderate, U.S.-backed militias are rapidly losing ground in the country’s civil war, U.S. officials said. But the CIA program is so minuscule that it is expected to produce only a few hundred trained fighters each month even after it is enlarged, a level that officials said will do little to bolster rebel forces that are being eclipsed by radical Islamists in the fight against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
At least a dozen US National Security Agency (NSA) employees have been caught using secret government surveillance tools to spy on the e-mails or phone calls of their current or former spouses and lovers in the past decade, according to the intelligence agency’s internal watchdog.
The practice is known in intelligence world shorthand as “LOVEINT” and was disclosed by the NSA Office of the Inspector-General in response to a request by the US Senate Judiciary Committee’s top Republican, Charles Grassley, for a report on abuses of the NSA’s surveillance authority.
MI6 drew up top-secret plans to allow Colonel Muammar Gaddafi to flee to another African country which was not subject to international law, a new book to be serialised in tomorrow’s Daily Telegraph discloses. The explosive plan was drawn up at the highest levels of the British Government as fears mounted over how to remove the dictator during the Libyan conflict. Andrew Mitchell, the then International Development Secretary, was dispatched to build covert contacts with the controversial regime in Equatorial Guinea.
A Guinean government minister said the country was “in danger” from outsiders plotting against it amid media reports that a coup was being planned in the capital Conakry. Security Minister Madifing Diane made the comments in response to a story in the latest edition of Paris-based weekly Le Canard Enchaine which said it had seen French and American secret service documents “announcing a coup in Conakry”. Le Canard said the coup plot had been put together by “French, South African and Israeli mercenaries with links to Paris and Africa and backed by a diamond magnate”.
NSA spooks risk alienating yet another US ally after new documents released by whistleblower Edward Snowden apparently revealed extensive surveillance of Indian domestic politics as well as the country’s nuclear and space programs.
The top secret document, obtained by The Hindu, suggests American spying activity in the sub-continent has gone far beyond that claimed by US and Indian officials.
The government is to establish national security and strategy study departments in up to 10 universities across the country, aiming to create a cadre of “ready to go” professionals for security and intelligence agencies. “We had a meeting in the (human resources development) ministry and the stakeholders concerned were present. We hope to start by next year in some universities—10 universities over the next four years, during the 12th Five-Year Plan,” said University Grants Commission (UGC) chairman Ved Prakash.
The Defense Ministry plans to build a communications intelligence facility on Iwoto Island in the Pacific to improve its ability to conduct surveillance on China and its growing military presence, a government source said Thursday. The ministry has similar facilities at six locations, including in Hokkaido, to intercept communications between ships and aircraft. China has increased military operations in the Pacific in response to the sovereignty row over the Senkaku Islands, which has strained Japan-China relations.
From the FBI: “Beta Bot infection vectors include an illegitimate but official looking Microsoft Windows message box named “User Account Control” that requests a user’s permission to allow the “Windows Command Processor” to modify the user’s computer settings. If the user complies with the request, the hackers are able to infiltrate data from the computer. Beta Bot is also spread via USB thumb drives or online via Skype, where it redirects the user to compromised websites.
A top US intelligence official has said the inputs collected about terror financing have saved lives and the US doesn’t gather trade secrets of other nations.””International criminal organisations, proliferators of weapons of mass destruction, illicit arms dealers, or nations that attempt to avoid international sanctions can also be targeted in an effort to aid America’s and our allies’ interests,” he said. It is no secret that the intelligence community collects information about economic and financial matters and terrorist financing, he said.
South Korean politics has been paralyzed in the wake of allegations that a small group of left wing politicians had been secretly planning to help North Korea take over the country. Parliament has been idle since last week when legislators voted by a landslide to have sitting lawmaker Lee Seok-ki arrested for his alleged role in plotting with members of his United Progressive Party (UPP), a small far-left party with pro-North Korea leanings, to take out infrastructure in South Korea in the event of a war with the North, in order to help North Korean forces win.
The report in Bild am Sonntag, which is a widely read and influential national Sunday newspaper, reported that the head of the German Foreign Intelligence agency, Gerhard Schindler, last week told a select group of German lawmakers that intercepted communications had convinced German intelligence officials that Assad did not order or approve what is believed to be a sarin gas attack on Aug. 21 that killed hundreds of people in Damascus’ eastern suburbs.
The Israeli military’s top-secret Unit 8200, the Jewish state’s equivalent of the U.S. National Security Agency, has spawned a generation of high-tech start-ups and more technology millionaires than many business schools, and these days the cyber security sector is booming. Unit 8200 is now the Israeli military’s biggest branch in manpower terms. It has grown swiftly in recent years as cyberwarfare has become one of the major security threats to military organizations and industrialized states whose vital infrastructure is vulnerable to cyberattack.
According to Agrell, Sweden sits in a geo-strategically important position with respect to the international signals intelligence system by having the ability to access cables that carry data traffic between the east and west. “Sweden sits on a pipeline filled with golden eggs,” he added. Last week, British investigative journalist Duncan Campbell revealed Sweden’s involvement as one of the United States’ most important partners in efforts to monitor internet communications across the globe.
The United States has ramped up its surveillance of Pakistan’s nuclear arms, according to top-secret US files that show Washington’s new level of distrust of the South Asian country. Citing the files, the Washington Post reported Tuesday that the CIA has also expanded its effort to gather intelligence in a bid to address US concerns about ‘biological and chemical sites’ in Pakistan. The spying operation was also seeking “to assess the loyalties of counterterrorism sources recruited by the CIA,” the newspaper said, quoting from the 178-page summary of the US intelligence community’s whopping 52.6 billion ‘black budget’ that also keep tabs on Al-Qaeda, North Korea and Iran, among others.
U.S. Intelligence Agencies Will Begin Publishing The Number Of Surveillance Orders They Request Each Year
In a victory for transparency advocates in the wake of the PRISM secret surveillance scandal, U.S. intelligence agencies will begin revealing the number of surveillance orders they request per year under various FISA ordinances, as well as national security letters. The agencies will also reveal the number of people that have been affected by each order. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper announced that the U.S. intelligence community’s Tumblr page, President Obama, will “provide immediate, ongoing and direct access to factual information related to the lawful foreign surveillance activities carried out by the U.S. Intelligence Community.”
GCHQ facilities in Cyprus are expected to play a key role in collecting intelligence which will inform any military strike against Syria despite Parliament last week voting against the UK joining in with any potential attack. The Cheltenham-based listening post has a presence on the island which is used to intercept messages from across the Middle East. The information gathered by the island facility, which is just 100 miles off the coast of Syria, is likely to be handed over to the US military ahead of any missile strike against President Bashar al-Assad.
Russia has sent a reconnaissance vessel from its Black Sea fleet to the coast off Syria, a report said Monday, as Moscow anxiously watches Western plans for military action against the Damascus regime, a report said Monday. The SSV-201 intelligence ship Priazovye on Sunday evening started its voyage from its home port of Sevastopol in Ukraine “to the appointed region of military service in the eastern Mediterranean,” a military source told the Interfax news agency. “The crew has the mission… of collecting operative information in the region of an escalating conflict,” it added.
The United States’ “black budget” for fiscal 2013 amounts to $52.6 billion (or $167 per American), and it details what The Washington Post calls a “bureaucratic and operational landscape that has never been subject to public scrutiny.” According to a new front-page story on Thursday, the Post says that it now has the entire 178-page classified budget summary as supplied by former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden. This entire budget comprises the annual expenditures for the NSA, the CIA, the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), and other spy and military agencies.
The unseen paths of the world’s information. The nation’s electronic espionage agency, the Australian Signals Directorate, is in a partnership with British, American and Singaporean intelligence agencies to tap undersea fibre optic telecommunications cables that link Asia, the Middle East and Europe and carry much of Australia’s international phone and internet traffic. Australia is connected to SEA-ME-WE-3 by a link from Singapore to Perth, and GCHQ’s bulk interception includes much of Australia’s telecommunications and internet traffic with Europe.
After 9/11, the NYPD built in effect its own CIA—and its Demographics Unit delved deeper into the lives of citizens than did the NSA. Over the ensuing decade, the FBI, CIA, and NSA would build surveillance programs that monitored bank transactions, phone records, and the e-mail routing fields.But the NYPD went even further than the federal government. The activities Kelly set in motion after 9/11 pushed deeply into the private lives of New Yorkers, surveilling Muslims in their mosques, their sporting fields, their businesses, their social clubs, even their homes in a way not seen in America since the FBI and CIA monitored antiwar activists during the Nixon administration. It was a proactive approach, but, in constitutional terms, a novel one.
The U.S. government may be considering military action in response to chemical strikes near Damascus. But a generation ago, America’s military and intelligence communities knew about and did nothing to stop a series of nerve gas attacks far more devastating than anything Syria has seen, Foreign Policy has learned. In 1988, during the waning days of Iraq’s war with Iran, the United States learned through satellite imagery that Iran was about to gain a major strategic advantage by exploiting a hole in Iraqi defenses. U.S. intelligence officials conveyed the location of the Iranian troops to Iraq, fully aware that Hussein’s military would attack with chemical weapons, including sarin, a lethal nerve agent.
Britain has a Middle East-based listening post collecting emails, phone calls and web traffic on behalf of western intelligence agencies, the Independent reported tonight. The listening post was established under the last government under a warrant signed by former foreign secretary David Miliband. The warrant authorised GCHQ to collect information about the “political intentions of foreign powers”, terrorism, proliferation, mercenaries and private military companies, and serious financial fraud.
GIBRALTAR Situated in sight of unstable north Africa and on the shipping route to the Middle East, Gibraltar has military and intelligence facilities that still make it a strategic asset for Britain, analysts say. Spain ceded Gibraltar to Britain in perpetuity in 1713 following a military struggle but has since the 1960s fought to have the territory returned to Spanish sovereignty. Tensions between Britain and Spain over the tiny territory have resurfaced over a concrete artificial reef built by Gibraltar in July. Madrid has said it is considering raising the dispute over its sovereignty with the UN.
Glimmerglass, a northern California company that sells optical fiber technology, offers government agencies a software product called “CyberSweep” to intercept signals on undersea cables. The company says their technology can analyze Gmail and Yahoo! Mail as well as social media like Facebook and Twitter to discover “actionable intelligence.” Could this be the technology that the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) is using to tap global communications? The company says it counts several intelligence agencies among its customers but refuses to divulge details.
Shin Bet, the Israeli internal security agency, has formed the agents into a vast network amid mounting concern about continuing instability in Egypt, particularly in the sprawling Sinai region which forms a frontier with Israel and the Gaza Strip. The largely lawless territory is now the prime focus of Israel’s counter-terrorism effort as fears grow that it could attract foreign Jihadists to fight alongside the local Bedouin recruits, sources say. The Israeli network has been tracking the activities of at least 15 different Salafist groups through close cooperation with Egyptian security forces, Haaretz newspaper reported.
Speaking at last Wednesday’s press conference, Prime Minister Ali Zeidan expressed his determination in pushing ahead with the formation and activation of a state intelligence gathering apparatus.
Zeidan implied that he was still facing some opposition to this policy. The Prime Minister had indicated in an earlier press conference that he was receiving opposition to this move from the GNC and thuwar (freedom fighters) to this policy move.
Five Indian soldiers and one Pakistani civilian lie dead, victims of skirmishes on the disputed Kashmir border. But the real target of the violence may well be Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, as Pakistan’s military and intelligence services try to thwart the newly elected leader’s aspirations for peace with India. “The intention here is to sabotage the peace process,” said Michael Kugelman, an expert on South Asia affiliated with the Woodrow Wilson Center. “This is a sad reality of India-Pakistan relations — whenever things are looking up, a saboteur tries to send all progress up in smoke.” The region has been on the boil since five Indian soldiers were killed in an ambush in the Poonch sector of India-administered Kashmir last week.